MacDonald Avenue to get 19th Century upgrade.

A tree on MacDonald Avenue weakened by utility pruning. (Google.ca July 2017)

Here is a notice from Toronto Hydro:

MacDonald Avenue

  • Project ID: W18159
  • Activity: Overhead Civil and Electrical
  • Timeline: October 2017 – December 2018
  • Status: Current

Toronto Hydro is planning to rebuild the aging overhead electrical system in the community to help improve service reliability. The rebuild includes upgrading overhead electrical cables and replacing hydro poles within the City of Toronto’s public property allowance in front of or adjacent to the lot. Throughout this project, planned outages may be necessary to switch from the old to the new electrical system and we intend to provide advance notice. Toronto Hydro crews and contractors will take extra care and precautions around the property. Please be advised that as a result of the project, our contractor may be trimming a number of the overgrown trees on the public road allowance in order to accommodate new hydro infrastructure. Upon project completion, affected areas will be restored.

So, instead of replacing MacDonald Avenue’s overhead wiring with underground cables, Toronto Hydro will continue to use a 19th Century method of bringing power to homes and businesses. This will ensure a continuing vulnerability of the power supply to ice storms, lightning strikes, vehicle collisions and falling trees. Speaking of trees; pruning them to make room for wiring is harmful and our trees would last far longer if they weren’t weakened by being trimmed.

The average life of a hydro pole is about 35 years so the MacDonald Avenue installation should last until 2053. Oh, and don’t hold your breath expecting that all of the old poles will be completely removed.

It seems that Toronto Hydro would rather spend its money on executive remuneration than on upgrading infrastructure, preserving trees and improving our streetscape. Yes, it would be initially more expensive to bury power lines but it would be an investment in the future and save money (repairs from the 2013 ice storm cost over $170 million) and inconvenience in the long run.

5 thoughts on “MacDonald Avenue to get 19th Century upgrade.”

  1. Before Toronto Hydro was spun out of the city into a private corporation, they had a plan for replacing overhead 14000 volt lines with ‘tree friendly’ wires that no longer required damaging pruning. Of course that is now ‘too expensive’ and we must sacrifice trees at the altar of profit.

  2. This doesn’t seem consistent with what I have seen occur in other neighbourhoods. Do they have a different plan depending on where in the City you reside?

  3. This would never happen in another neighbourhood. Interesting.
    Where is the resident group, BIA, heritage group etc….where is Nunziata?

  4. Agreed! It’s unfortunate that some residents either don’t know or don’t care about the current happenings in Weston. I guess we can thank all of the rentals in our neighbourhood where pride of ownership is certainly not a cause for concern.

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